The Ministry of Fisheries has given preliminary approval for a large aquaculture farm to be developed in the Firth of Thames.
If built, the shellfish farm will cover 1783 hectares.
The ministry says that, going by current information, the farm would not adversely affect the commercial fishery.
It says public submissions will be considered until mid-May, with a final decision on whether to approve the project by June.
Regulatory manager Russell Burnard says it's not a done deal yet but the proposal hasn't attracted a lot of opposition.